Shuai Peng takes on Christina McHale this afternoon in the second round of the 2012 WTA Doha Open.
As expected, Peng progressed to the second round of the Doha Open on Monday, beating Fatma Al Nabhani rather predictably in straight sets. It was no surprise that Peng didn’t need a third set to finish the job, but the outsider put up a stern resistance in the second set.
The twelfth seed was relieved to close the door on a 6-0 7-5 victory, setting up today's clash with American youngster Christina McHale.
"In the first set I played very well, but in the second set I think I lost some of my concentration," admitted Peng after winning her opener.
"My reactions got a bit slower - it's late night in China right now! She also played some amazing shots...I would hit wide to her forehand and she would come up with a winner down the line. I really didn't want it to go three sets, so even though it got close I was very happy to win."
Peng can’t expect to find things as easy against McHale in round two. The American was confronted with a tricky first round meeting against Chanelle Scheepers, which she won comfortably, 6-4 6-3.
China’s No. 2 will be considered the favourite to earn a berth in round three, but McHale is definitely in with a chance. This promises to be one of the most entertaining matches of the second round, with three sets being a very realistic probability. It’s not easy to pick a winner, but Peng should perhaps be able to edge through to round three.
Prediction: Peng in three.